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Blackburn 0-1 Wigan (FT)
19.59 – You can find a comprehensive preview of this game here.
20.08 – Play has temporarily been stopped because there is a chicken on the field. Yes, you read that correctly.
20.34 – Slight let-off for Blackburn. A dangerous ball is played into the box, and Gary Caldwell unwittingly toes it away from Victor Moses, who was just about to pull the trigger.
20.37 – Unless my imagine deceives me, Sky’s co-commentator Davie Proven just said “Blackburn are starting to look a bit strung out”.
20.43 – Not for the first time tonight, Pederson has woefully overhit a free kick from a promising position.
Blackburn very much look like a team that are short of inspiration.
20.54 – So it’s half-time, and the only positive I can think of as far as Blackburn are concerned is that their performance is a marginal improvement from their game with Tottenham.
Wigan have been far more neat and tidy in possession compared with their opponents, and have threatened on occasion, but currently seem to lack a cutting edge up front.
21.00 – Here’s another look at the highlight of that first half:
YouTube credit: steezyfreestyle
21.24 – Blackburn have been denied what seems a clear penalty based on replays. Boyce attempts to kick the ball, but the Blackburn player gets there ahead of him, and thus the Wigan defender gets the man rather than the ball.
The referee should expect to receive plenty of criticism if Blackburn do end up going down tonight.
21.29 – With James McCarthy screaming for it on the right, Di Santo opts to shoot, and the ball deflects safely into the hands of Robinson.
It’s fair to say McCarthy is not happy with his colleague after such selfishness.
21.36 – Moses has just been booked for diving in the box – the replays show that the referee is 100% right.
Meanwhile, the increasingly gloomy weather seems an appropriate backdrop to this game as far as Blackburn fans are concerned – an example of pathetic fallacy if ever I saw one.
21.46 – Moses finds himself through on goal on the counter-attack for Wigan, and Robinson does well to save the shot, in addition to smothering the ball, as McCarthy attempts to get to the rebound.
Shortly thereafter, Maloney heads over from close range when he should score.
Suffice it to say, Blackburn are living dangerously.
22.07 – Club captain Gary Caldwell says Wigan have “proven we’re good enough to play at this level”.
He also praises Martinez for staying “calm and true to his principles”.
22.24 – So, probably a fair result on the basis of both the game and the season on reflection. Wigan looked slightly sharper throughout that match, playing the better football and creating the better chances, notwithstanding the penalty Blackburn should have been awarded (see 21.24).
The game also highlighted two contrasting styles of ownership at the respective clubs – Dave Whelan has relentlessly backed Roberto Martinez irrespective of many disappointing results in recent years, while Blackburn’s owners seemed to sack Sam Allardyce in very harsh circumstances, installing the untested Steve Kean thereafter, much to the ostensible dismay of the majority of the club’s fans.
22.31 – Bradley Orr describes relegation as “probably the worst feeling in my football career” and admits they “fell short as a group of players”.
He adds that he has “nothing but admiration and respect for Steve Kean”. He says “he took things 0n the chin that he shouldn’t have had to”.
He also says Kean is “the best I’ve worked with as far as managers are concerned”.
In relation to the ownership, he claims he “doesn’t know what the situation is”.
22.35 – An emotional Steve Kean says the difficulty in keeping clean sheets is one of the main reasons they went down and says they have to “regroup” and keep the majority of their players together.